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Author Topic: Feeding bees without sugar  (Read 5163 times)
keeperofthebees
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« on: January 23, 2008, 03:36:22 PM »

This will be my second year of beekeeping and I want to feed my bees without out using refined sugars. What could I use? I've heard people say no honey from unknown sources. What about using honey I harvested last year from the hives? Could I just stick it in a entrance feeder?

What about pollen patties, too? Could I make a patty from only pollen and honey? Any other ways of feeding naturally/organically would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 07:14:12 PM »

>This will be my second year of beekeeping and I want to feed my bees without out using refined sugars. What could I use? I've heard people say no honey from unknown sources. What about using honey I harvested last year from the hives? Could I just stick it in a entrance feeder?

You honey is fine in any feeder you'd feed syrup in.  White sugar is the next best thing as everything else has too many solids which are bad for the bees.

>What about pollen patties, too? Could I make a patty from only pollen and honey?

That's what I do.
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Michael Bush
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Kirk-o
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008, 10:01:21 AM »

When I have to feed I use cane sugar and I get pollen from L A Honey company
and make the patties up with honey and pollen.

Bees like pollen the best
kirk-o
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008, 12:03:20 PM »

Actually, you CAN'T feed bees without sugar since that's what a bee lives on.  Smiley  But honey has enough of it to do well for food.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
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keeperofthebees
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2008, 10:59:49 AM »

When I have to feed I use cane sugar.

You use cane sugar? I have heard that it is not good because it has too many solids in it. I would much rather use cane sugar than refined sugar.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2008, 11:25:37 AM »

>You use cane sugar? I have heard that it is not good because it has too many solids in it. I would much rather use cane sugar than refined sugar.

Cane sugar is refined sugar.  Beet sugar is refined sugar.  They both work fine for bee feed when honey isn't available.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2008, 02:26:16 PM »


You use cane sugar? I have heard that it is not good because it has too many solids in it. I would much rather use cane sugar than refined sugar.

Keeperofthebees.  I think that you may be thinking of brown sugar or molasses, etc.  Those types of sugars have stuff in them that the bees cannot digest and can make them very sick.

White sugar, cane sugar, beet sugar.  All are good for the use of the bees, no impurities.  Have an awesome day.  Cindi
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2008, 05:14:31 PM »

IMO white sugar is "starvation" food.  It's what I feed them to keep them from starving.  It's not what I PLAN to have them live on.  I try to leave them enough honey.  But feeding honey is messy and expensive and if it's other people's honey there is the risk of disease.
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Michael Bush
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Kev
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« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2008, 07:21:08 PM »

You could probably use maple syrup  Smiley

but at $27 a quart, your bees would pretty quickly eat you out of house and home
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JordanM
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« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2008, 08:25:23 PM »

Could you tap your own maple trees and drain the syrup out of them and then boil it down almost to the consistancy of syrup but not quit.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: March 05, 2008, 07:50:10 AM »

Bee collect nectar.  It's what they do.  It's what they live on.  Feeding is only a temporary starvation issue.  Sugar is your best bet for this as maple syrup or any other sweet thing has too many solids and is not good for bees.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2008, 09:12:27 AM »

I'm chiming in here about the food that we humans feed to bees.  The only products that should ever be fed to bees for feeding replacement of honey is beet or cane sugar.  NEVER, and I mean never feed them any kind of maple syrup, molasses, brown sugar, anything of that like.  White cane sugar or beet sugar, period.

The other sugary-type products contain impurities and if you want some sick bees, well then, go right ahead and feed this crap to them. They will get sick, you can bet your bottom dollar.  Why do that to the bees to save a buck, or whatever the reason.  We are intervening in their lives when we feed them sugar syrup, and if we are doing that, then the deserve the best care possible.  Period.

This question will come up again, about what to feed the bees, and it must be clearly stated AGAIN and again, that humans do not feed unpure sugar products to their bees.  Have a wonderful and greatest of this beautiful day, Cindi
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Kev
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« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2008, 09:09:34 PM »

Could you tap your own maple trees and drain the syrup out of them and then boil it down almost to the consistancy of syrup but not quit.
you could make maple sugar, but it takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. 
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Kev
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« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2008, 09:11:16 PM »

yikes just read cindi's post.

don't use maple
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2008, 11:17:01 AM »

In my experience, the best thing for bees is honey.  The next best thing for bees is pure sugar.  I know it seems counterintuitive to feed white sugar when you think that white sugar isn't good for people.  But bees aren't people and white sugar has less impurities to give them dysentery.

So if you don't like feeding them sugar (understandably), then leave them enough honey and only feed if they are starving.  Bees gather nectar.  It's what they do.  We should let them.
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Michael Bush
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Cindi
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« Reply #15 on: March 09, 2008, 11:38:59 PM »

Michael, absolutely, I agree with you 100%, and the responsible beekeeper WILL leave the bees with enough honey to overwinter, defintely should be that way.  Honey is superior to any other kind of food for the bees, that is why they make it, they know what is good for their bodies and souls.  Beekeepers should be encouraged to not take ALL the honey for their own use, think of the bees first, the bees are not a doubt in my mind, more healthy is they are surviving on their honey.  Have the best of this beautiful day.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Kev
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« Reply #16 on: March 11, 2008, 07:34:25 PM »

I have to confess I had my tongue in my cheek when I even suggested maple syrup.  grin

I didn't think anyone would even consider the effort or expense of tapping and boiling 40 gallons of sap down to syrup to feed to bees so that they could turn it into a product that sells for way less per pound.

When they need it, I feed my bees refined white sugar, the stuff I get on sale.

Sorry if I caused any confusion or led anyone astray.

kev
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #17 on: March 11, 2008, 09:46:07 PM »

I have to confess I had my tongue in my cheek when I even suggested maple syrup.  grin

Oh man Undecided I had a rope and posse all gathered up and was about to come looking for you.

  rolleyes Maple syrup indeed  rolleyes
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Kev
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« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2008, 07:46:50 PM »

LOL
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« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2008, 11:20:37 PM »

  rolleyes Maple syrup indeed  rolleyes


it's only for canoodian bees
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